Dec 152016



(Andy Synn’s week-long series of year-end lists continues with his personal list of The Critical Top Ten for 2016. Click these links to see his lists of the year’s Great Albums, the Good Albums, and the Disappointments.)

For those of you unfamiliar with how this works, I always wind-up my week-long retrospective with two lists, the “Critical Top Ten” and the “Personal Top Ten”.

Now the second one is probably pretty self-explanatory, in that it’s just a list of the ten albums I’ve loved, lived with, and listened to the most this year. It’s really just a snapshot of my personal listening habits/tastes over the last twelve months.

The idea behind this one possible needs some explaining though.

You see the “Critical Top Ten” is where I try (as best I can) to remove my own personal biases and downplay any favouritism and instead attempt to name the ten albums (unranked) which I feel honestly represent the best of the best from the last year in Metal. Continue reading »

Sep 232016

Departe album cover


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Tasmania’s Départe.)

So this is the point where I would usually say something about how great the last few years have been in terms of Australia’s Metal exports, coupled with some tongue-in-cheek reference to the country’s proclivity for producing some of the world’s most vicious and venomous creatures… the Box Jellyfish, the Eastern Brown Snake, Mel Gibson… ok, I know that last one’s originally from America, but cut me some slack ok? It’s hard to be funny when you’ve just had your eardrums pummelled and your soul scalded by an album like Failure, Subside. Continue reading »

Sep 062016

Khonsu-The Xun Protectorate


(DGR prepared this large roundup of new music streams, with one item added by the editor.)

I’ve been slowly gathering up this veritable feast of heavy metal for this roundup, basically doing my usual duty of being the last line of defense for metal news that often pops up and we didn’t catch right away for a variety of reasons. This time around, I’ve got a huge collection of six [now seven] different items, some of which I’m sure you’ve likely crossed paths with but we didn’t dedicate words to and others because they may not be in the usual NCS coverage wheelhouse. I even managed to include some serious lighter fare this time, to help brighten up the mood musically after the first two full onslaughts [now three] hit your musical listening systems.

So let’s kick this thing off with a real quick one that happened as I was writing this intro, and then dive into the meat of it and romp around in its innards for a while.



This one is going to be quick, mostly because there isn’t a huge block of heavy metal music proper — but it just happened, and I’ll be goddamned if I don’t say that I am immensely excited for this disc. Continue reading »

Jul 212016

Departe-Failure Subside


Like the grime clinging to those gnarled, grasping hands on the cover of the debut album Failure, Subside by Australia’s Départe, dark emotions hold all of us in their grip from time to time, and sometimes perpetually. In the band’s words, those “feelings of guilt, loss, anxiety, fear, and defeat… are intimate, almost claustrophobic, clinging to us like dirt – we hold them close, swallow them, hide them away like scars for fear of the shame that comes from the exposure of weakness”. Départe plumb the depths of those emotions on Failure, Subside, yet as you’re about to discover, they do not drown in them.

The album won’t be released until October 14 of this year, but to begin introducing you to it, we are working with Season of Mist to bring you the premiere of a song called “Vessel“. At the risk of giving away something surprising and significant about the song, we introduce it through this comment by vocalist/guitarist Sam Dishington: Continue reading »